Sword of Ambition By ʿUthmān ibn Ibrāhīm al-Nābulusī

The Sword of Ambitionbelongs to an era of religious polemics written by those who ruled Egypt as well as Syria between the 12th and 14th century. Contrary to most medieval Muslim polemics, the issues in this particular genre were more political and social than theological. 

In a way that left no stone unturned The author of the book was an jobless Egyptian scholar and former bureaucrat named ‘Uthman Ibrahim al-Nabulusi (d. in 660/1262) and poured his extensive understanding of law, history and literature into the book. 

The book is now fully edited with a new translation, the Sword of Ambition provides a fresh glimpse into the fascinating culture of rivalry between elites during the middle of Medieval Islamic Middle East. 

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It’s full of lesser-known historical tales as well as unusual religious views along with witty and obscure poems, and witty humor and satire of culture. It also reveals that a lot of the animosity between communities of the time was driven by a fierce battle for scarce resources, which was often mediated by an ideologically dedicated Sunni Muslim state. This revelation reminds us that it is a fact that the seemingly eternal and inexplicably inevitable “religious” conflicts must be viewed from a wider historical context.

The Sword of Ambition is one of the first and most diverse of the many independent works written in the medieval period of Egypt against the use by Coptic or Jewish officials. It also is a clear evidence of the gradual integration of Islamic research and state administration, which was well in progress at the time.

A bilingual Arabic-English edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B017DIPD7G
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ NYU Press; Bilingual edition
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 10, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4550 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 401 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled

Uthmān ibn Ibrāhīm al-Nābulusī (d. 660/1262), of Palestinian origin, was a leading Egyptian bureaucrat in the court of the Ayyubid sultans. In addition to his pivotal work, The Sword of Ambition, he wrote several works on Egyptian administration and government, including A Presentation of the Living, Eternal God’s Work in Regulating the Fayyum, the most extensive tax record that survives from the medieval Middle East.

Sherman Jackson is King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Luke Yarbrough is Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at UCLA. His research is concerned with the history of the pre-modern Middle East and North Africa, including inter-communal relations, law and prescriptive discourses, Arabic historiography, the oral transmission of knowledge, and comparative history. –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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